Mental Health and Eternal Grief

The long journey

This past Saturday my sister and I attended the calling hours of a childhood friend.  She referred to him as one of her “first friends”.  You know, the first kids you befriend in childhood.  That doesn’t always translate to forever friends, life can sometimes make that impossible, but it always translates to a special place in your heart and lovely memories.

I didn’t think it would be difficult to attend the calling hours.  So it took me by surprise when I started to feel the tears well up in my eyes, the all-too-familiar heartache and the feeling of helplessness.  I told his mom, “he was a great kid”, gave her a feeble smile and a look that I hope conveyed my feelings more than my words did.

Your heart will hurt in a very real way

Sometimes your despair will overwhelm you

Knees to the ground

Air knocked out of your lungs

Can’t breathe

Can’t think

Suffocating pain


Then the freedom from constant pain

Some light

Some dark

and then bam, life is happening again

I could tell you that it “lessens” with time.  But that’s not a one-hundred percent truth.  It’s a coping statement.  The real truth is that the pain will change.  You will experience it differently because it has changed you.  There will be moments so raw that you’re experiencing it all over again.  

To that childhood friend, your easygoing smile will be something I will always remember and treasure.  I hope that you find peace in your journey.

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